Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Obama's Land Grab Nightmare
By Alan Caruba
There are ten planks in the Communist Manifesto and it will come as no surprise to anyone to discover that they are being implemented by the Obama administration in league with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The first plank called for the abolition of all private property ownership and the application of all rents of land to public purposes.
The Constitution regards the ownership of private property to be of such importance that the Bill of Rights’ Fifth Amendment includes an injunction against the taking of private property for public use without just compensation. The object was to keep as much private property as private as possible.
Some of the other Communist goals included a heavy progressive or graduated income tax and abolition of all rights of inheritance. If the Bush tax cuts are not extended, the “death tax” on estates will partially implement the inheritance goal and, of course, everyone currently anticipates that income tax rates will rise.
The federal government has long been involved in sequestering land from private ownership and in cases such as the establishment of National parks and forests it has proven to be a good idea, ensuring the protection of landmarks such as the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park.
Such efforts ensured that the U.S. still has 70% of the forest land that existed in 1600—737 million acres. Of these 33.5% are reserved from harvest by law or represent slow-growth areas unsuitable for timber production. The rest are timberlands that, for forest management purposes, are still harvested.
This has not stopped environmentalists, often called tree-huggers, from trying to stop any harvesting and the 1980s Spotted Owl hoax in the Northwest was so successful it closed down timber and sawmill operations, devastating an important industry. The claim was that the owls were endangered. Like most environmental claims it was false.
Most people will be surprised to learn that nearly 30% of the 2.63 million square miles of the United States is directly owned by the federal government.
This federal land is located primarily in the West. For example, 69.1% of Alaska is owned by the federal government and 84% of Nevada. More than half of both Utah and Idaho is owned by the federal government. Other western states such as Arizona, California, Wyoming, Oregon, New Mexico and Colorado have from 53.1% to 36.6% of their land allocated to the federal government.
If the States are sovereign republics in their own right, it begs the question why the federal government owns so much of the West, but the most pressing question today is why new legislation is making its way through the House and Senate to create a permanent trust fund for the purpose of acquiring still more federal land.
Though beaten back in the past, the House recently passed the “Consolidated Land, Energy and Aquatic Resources Act of 2010 and, in the Senate, Harry Reid is trying to incorporate similar legislation in his so-called “energy act”, creating a multi-billion trust that, unlike the original Land and Water Conservation Fund, would not have to go through the appropriations process.
The so-called trust fund aspect is an old Congressional trick. The Social Security trust fund has been raided for years to the point where it is insolvent, but trust funds set up for highway funds, airport funds, and others have been regularly diverted.
Another land grab effort is an act called “America’s Commitment to Clean Water Act” that is in essence a Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency authorization to control every drop of water in the nation.
The original 1972 Clean Water Act applies only to “navigable” waters, i.e. bodies of water on which boats and ships can function, but the new bill would include wetlands and everywhere else water is found. In short, not just farmers and ranchers would be affected, but your backyard if it has puddles after a rainstorm. This has long been an EPA objective.
Would it surprise anyone to know that Carol Browner, the president’s chief advisor (czar) on environment and energy was a former high ranking member of Socialist International?
The Obama administration is filled with people for whom the environment is a kind of religion, devoid of any science to support its bad intentions, and willing to ignore the U.S. Constitution any time it might get in the way.
Cong. Ron Paul (R-TX) has been a longtime opponent of the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA). In June he issued a warning against the latest efforts to grab more land for federal government control, citing in his view that the “federal government already owns far too much real property.”
This is really bad legislation that must be defeated. Otherwise, as Rep. Paul warns, “it allows the Executive Branch to have powers that are constitutionally directed to Congress. So this bill not only diminishes private property, it also erodes the Constitutional separation of powers.”
The Constitution is under attack by Communists. Our freedoms are constantly eroded and the keystone of wealth, private property, is under attack.
For more information, visit www.landrights.org
© Alan Caruba, 2010